It is time to talk about the UN and Disability

A lot has been made about United Nation’s Committee of the rights on right of people with disabilities report on whether the UK had made grave systematic failings under the UN’s Convention with the same name. The headline is that the UN has called the Tory government and its welfare reforms a ‘human catastrophe’, which has been used by Labour and others to attack the government, but very little is understood about it. Here is what I know about it.

The investigation was initiated some years ago by Disabled People Against Cuts, a far left civil disobedience organisation that has made its mission to make the welfare reforms as toxic as possible, and it has actually been very successful in doing this, causing maximum distress and even suicides.

The investigation was supported in have been in secret, as a good CIA approach of justice and rights, but it got leaked to the media and the witch hunt began. There was no public call for evidence and any meetings with UK disabled people were carefully organised by the far left organisations involved. What is most shocking is that despite claims that 1000s of pages of evidence were considered, the slim report had no evidence attached to it.

The report could best be described as a peer review and despite the claims, it has no teeth or meaning in the real world. As opposed to any comparison to other countries, and noting it was the first report of its kind, it seemed to be comparing the UK to theoretical concepts and goals. Can any country ever claim to be fully accessible in the way we can ever end misery as these are relative concepts?

I could have told you what the report was going to say before it was even written and it was always going to attack the government based on far left ideology. Ignoring what the government is achieving for people with impairments, the report was heavily focused on social security issues and as assumption everything far left activists say is true.

What is most worrying is the report is as outraged as the left generally that not enough people are being found unfit for work and excluded from the workplace, and questioning if people should even be assessed as ‘we know they are pointless’. While the report did make the mandatory moan about the employment gap, the chair of the committee showed the UN’s true colours when she was caught on tape saying this was a pretence they have to claim, when she also compared the attitude on believing people with impairments can work with eugenics, confirming the left’s use of the benefit scrounger rhetoric to make employment toxic. The report also used a new human rights model of disability, where self-defined identity is regarded as a gateway to welfare and other solutions, as opposed to actual need.

While the government has tried to respond to the UN report, it has ignored it mostly, and attacking the report will probably increase the death threats it staff receives from those promised a something for nothing in the culture of the left. But the report is one of those things the activists of the Tory party has to start to challenge in order to protect the idea everyone has human potential, and no one should be thrown on the scrapheap in the name of human rights.

The Battle for Disability


When I talk about the negative attitudes of left wing activists towards the idea that all people with impairments have the ability to make a meaningful contribution to society in terms of some form of paid employment in the long term, I am often asked to wonder if it is an attitude across the whole spectrum of politics. My response is while the Tories are far from perfect, Labour has certainly successfully hijacked the moral highground on the issue of disability and used it for their own socialism agenda.

The problem with this is that their real understanding of disability issues is at an all time low point, as it probably is with most things. I would agree that New Labour under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had a comprehensive understanding of disability issues based on the views of many different sections of the disability community. Nowadays, Labour is solely interested in the desires of the sick movement, creating a negative medical model agenda.

The sick movement is based on the viewpoint of people who are in the angry stage of adjusting to their new state as people with manageable impairments. They may be functionally ready to return to some kind of paid employment, which may be different to what they were doing previously, but they are emotionally not ready to accept their new state of being. This means their anger is directed at the government and benefit assessors who tell them the truth they are not ready to her.

Putting the sick movement in charge of Labour’s disability policy is like making new victims of crime court judges, a very dangerous idea as everyone else’s rational viewpoint will be ignored in preference to decisions based on anger and bitter emotion. Because no one else understands what is going on, as I remain an isolated viewpoint, the sick movement’s medical model understanding of human rights and ‘social barriers’, as a corrupted version of the social model, as seeped into the general lexicon of disability political correctness.

This is why the United Nations and the Equality and Human Rights Commission has been so happy to demonise the meaningful inclusion of people with impairments, particularly in terms of paid employment, because it contridicts of welfare based agenda of the sick movement which regards having an impairment as no longer being to contribute to the workforce from a marist perspective. The United Nation has recently confirmed this demonising by accusing anyone who believes people with impairments have a place in the workforce and not on Labour’s ‘valued’ scrapheap is calling people with impairments ‘parasites’. The benefit scrounger rhetoric has infact been a product of the sick movement itself to demonise any efforts to support them into employment.

There is a battle for disability, between the dark evil of Labour’s medical model welfare agenda and the Tory’s bright good social model support for meaningful inclusion. While the Tories have in reality the moral highground in hindsight in standing up for disabled people, they are very bad at defending us from the endless and hostile attacks from left wing activists, allowing inclusion to be further demonised as human rights is used to argue for our continued oppression. When the United Nations is demanding the mass exclusion of disabled people in the name of rights as social security as inferior beings is all we can expect, you know that things have become slightly fucked.

I do have my silent supporters in this battle and they are growing as Corbyn is open about his hatred of reality and disabled people’s inclusion. It is still however many years before this battle against catastrophe of hate is understood by history as the world enters generally the most dangerous era of political beliefs since World War Two.


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Why am I voting Tory as a disabled person

I wanted to explain properly why I am voting Tory as someone with significant impairments. I am very aware that in doing so, I am most likely to be subjected to a torrid of abuse from other ‘disabled’ activists but this simply shows how Corbyn has permitted sheer hatred to enter mainstream politics.

I think it is important that I explain that I am not blindly supporting the Tories, there is many promises in their manifesto I have concerns with including how they wish to fund social care. There is also things I like in the Labour Manifesto and I am happy to make my mind up policy by policy..

The main reason I am voting Tory is because they are prepared to have an adult conversation on disability issues despite the great pressure to simply pity people with impairments. In dealing with people that are often in fragile stages of their lives emotionally, it is going to be extremely hard to get this right. But real inclusion is about being considered a responsible adult, the basics of citizenship. If people with impairments really want equality, that requires give and take.

I am not suggesting every Tory politician and party worker has a perfect understanding of disability issues, or a perfect attitude and behaviour towards people with impairments. But this is not the hostility towards discussion on the issue that now exists within the Labour party on the subject.

Labour sees disability as a welfare issue and hads without a doubt have a divide between ‘the chronically sick’ and the ‘severely disabled’, where there is a huge resentment towards the later and hatred that May wishes to protect their needs against the former group, where a shyness towards employment is celebrated under Labour. Please make no doubt that Labour has declared war on people like myself who they see have having no place in society.

What I hate about Labour is the anti-government lies their endlessly spout about people with impairments, taking individual and complex cases of difficulty and wrongly blowing them up into examples of systematic abuse. A perfect example of this is when Guardian Journalist and disablist bigot, Frances Ryan stated once again in one of her hate speech articles that one million disabled people were missing out of social care, being forced to go to bed at 7pm in nappies. So many things Labour activists say are false built upon lie upon myth upon lie upon myth.

I had to fight every step of the way to get where I am today and I believe we live in a better society for people with impairments. Under Corbyn’s red flag, I am regarded as automatically unfit for society based on the same bigotry that existed under 1930s germany. Yet so many people with impairments simply do not want inclusion, but just ‘their’ benefits at any price and regardless of the lives it will cost with Assisted Dying being supported by Labour.

The Tories provide me with a sense of respect and does not seem to question my abilities. It is not perfect but it is far better than the hatred I receive from Labour.

A user perspective of the Social Care Crisis

For the last few months, there has been endless talk within health and social care fields about a ‘social care’ crisis that reached fever pitch when the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement did not mention social care, let alone providing additional funding. Many people have commented on the situation but very few users have had a say, so here is my stab at it.

The first question to ask about the crisis is which one? Everyone has portrayed the crisis in their own way. I can think of at least four different issues that are portrayed as the crisis. The first is the potential collapse of the care home industry. Then we have the fact people with moderate needs are not receiving support in a traditional way. Next is the level of funding local authorities are not receiving to meet their current level of support provided. Finally, the last crisis is the delayed discharges in hospitals, particularly in A&E departments, that are being attributed to a lack of social care funding.

I would argue that there is a fifth crisis, which is what is the purpose of social care in the first place, but I will come to that in a bit. With all these different issues floating around, the next question is where should any new funding  go and here we have the problem. I believe with so many mix messages on what the crisis is, the Chancellor decided to avoid the subject as oppose to getting embroiled in the internal politics of social care.

I believe just more money is not the answer and that any new funding has to come with major reforms. Without any kind of reforms, the new funding will simply be absorbed without producing great improvements and the begging bowls will quickly come out once again. But before we can have major reforms, we need to know what the purpose of social care is as we go forward.

And here as where my viewpoint of a service user comes in. My background is independent living, which is also in existential crisis, and a belief in social inclusion for everyone as contributing citizens. I believe the next generation of service users of all ages are going to be as proactive as myself with higher outcomes and expectations. They are not going to tolerate a continuation of passive and disempowering services designed to please their families more than themselves.

I also believe world economics have changed forever and that social care is never going to receive the funding required to maintain the outdated care system we currently have, where even its vanguard services is rooted in passivity. It is time for the many social care commentators to stop asking for something that is unlikely to happen, and start working on what reforms are needed to design a first class modern social care system within the resources available.

There is a lot of talk and self-congratulation  about  coproduction with service users in the design of some social care services, but it has been non-existent when it comes to the funding crisis. Yes, there has been a lot of feeling based research on what users think about social care, but users have never been asked about the in-depth issues as equals to other professionals. Even the Independent Living Strategy Group, headed by Jane Campbell, has decided it is not interested in the views of users, only asking organisational representatives to join and debate our futures without the expertise of users with many more years of experience of the issues.

The endless talk of crisis can also be seen as a fear of the changes needed in the social care sector to meet the real requirements of the next generation. Until the sector has a whole can come up with some consensus on how any new funding would be spent to reform social care, it is unlikely to get the respect from the Chancellor it has so desperately been craving for.


Have disabled people been a victim of post-truth?

Over the past week, I have been catching up on what the new term, post-truth, means. My understanding is that post-truth is when an emotional understanding of an issue, especially in politics, supersedes the often complex facts involved, so there is a greater belief in what people want to hear as opposed to the actual evidence available. So rumour and myth become embedded in articles, that embed themselves in further articles and so become an endless exercise of Chinese whispers.

At this point, let us not be fooled to believe only one section of politics are doing this, and that there is a simple line between the good and the bad. Just because Donald Trump is seen as an obvious player of post-truth politics, it does not mean those who oppose his views are not active in post-truth themselves. Social media and the rise of isolationist news sources, where we now can choose the news we wish to read in a way like never before, means post-truth is now more mainstream than we realise.

In terms of people with impairments, the anti-cuts movement has been an expert in using post-truth to win hearts over minds. If you examine my very first few articles in the Huffington Post, they were about challenging the post-truths that were starting to exist in terms of the welfare system. Sadly these post-truths have now been repeated in so many articles and even accepted by the United Nations, it is going to be almost impossible to undo the damage to people with impairments’ place in society caused by the mythological environment people now accept.

As someone motivated by real facts and evidence, I find post-truth hard to swallow as I can see how it enables so many individual voices to be lost, especially the voices of many people with impairments. The truth has too often set me free and it has been a willingness to read and understand the small print that has enabled me to beat the system when it was being unfair to me. I believe systems are mostly fair if they are properly implemented and that the way to challenge a system is to use its own rules against it.

Shouting ‘foul’ every time you disagree with something and then building a whole alternative theory of reality to justify opposing a wrong on an emotional level is not going to help anyone, especially people with impairments. Instead, it is about finding the small truths that may be seen as boring and insignificant and using them to build a mirror for the system’s top brass to see and recognise.

This is what I call activism. But what we have ended up with is a generation of activists on all sides who can only work within the realm of soundbites and popularised headlines. “x% of people with label a are not getting solution k” attempts to justify post-truth because it simplifies and reduces the argument to cause an emotional reaction. Case studies are now carefully crafted in the first voice to only paint half the picture, leaving people like myself full of questions about what is the full picture.

The liberal media are as guilty of post-truth as anyone else, particularly focusing on people with impairments as a part of the new poor only they can protect from ‘Trumpmania’. Post-truth is a central part of the general car crash of politics and society  internationally we are currently witnessing, where people with impairments have particularly become a part of the casualty list.

Has the UN failed British Disabled People?

On Monday the UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities released a report of what is generally regarded as the UK government’s grave violation of the convention on the rights of people with disabilities. What the report really represents is a political stunt that shows the prejudices that exist towards people with impairments by the UN.

The report was produced at the request of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), a left-wing organisation involved in civil disobedience. Their actions have included a failed attempt to storm the House of Commons, which would have been regarded as an act of terrorism if any other group had done the same. This group fundamentally believes most people with impairments should be paid a basic income and thrown on the scrapheap, mirroring the bigotry that existed in 1930s Germany.

The UN did not disappoint DPAC as it delivered exactly what they wanted word for word. Since the request was made almost two years ago, this so-called investigation come dictation has been held in secret with evidence only coming from DPAC’s vast pro-exclusion propaganda machine, with the British government simply forced to justify including people with impairments into society from those who prefer eugenics as the final solution.

The report is surprisingly thin at just 30 pages with no publicly accountable evidence to justify any of its findings. I am sure the committee knew it was unwise to release many of the hate speech documents provided by DPAC full of lies and conspiracies. To justify their bigotry towards people with impairments in the name of rights, there had to make their short statement without evidence, knowing the anti-inclusion movement will ensure no one challenges them.

The report only focused on welfare reforms and changes to social care for people with physical impairments primarily as that is the only issues DPAC cares about. The report assumes every person with an impairment is the same that fits into the new assumption that the only ‘disabled person’ that matters is the fictitious Daniel Blake, where the non-welfare issues of people with significant impairments no longer matter. One leading human rights activist, who defended this undefendable report in the Guardian, implied to me I had to take responsibility to ensure Daniel Blake got his benefits regardless of what he needed before I could be allowed to have my needs met because this activist did not like seeing his idea of poverty.

The most offensive and telling part of the report was that it had found fit for work in quotation marks, This means like the dinner table activists in the UK, a bunch of nameless faceless bureaucrats felt they had the right to overrule a legal assessment to judge people they had never met on whether they were fit for society, or whether they belonged unsupported on the scrapheap in the name of rights. This is like suggesting black people have the right to be slaves but offering them freedom is a grave violation of their rights, as they are inferior beings.

But when most activists and so-called representatives of people with impairments do actually believe we are naturally inferior beings who belong on the scrapheap, of course this piece of hate speech masked as a report is being hailed as a victory, another step forward towards the final eugenic solution to end having to see poverty once and for all.

When did promoting inclusion become a hate crime?

I have suggested for a few years that what is now considered the mainstream ‘disability movement’, made popular in the same context as Corbyn, are focused on the exclusion and by default, eugenics, of people with impairments. This is a strong allegation but two events in the last seven days have confirmed to me that my concerns are well founded.

The first event is when Liz Carr, a television actress with impairments and well-known activist, at a Labour Party conference fringe meeting, compared supporting people with impairments into employment with sending then to Nazi concentration camps! She then went on to explain how being a ‘disabled person’ in 2016 Britain meant you were hated and vilified by the government’s workshy and benefit scrounger rhetoric.

Now, there may be a valid reason to raise concerns about how people are being tested by WCA, but the idea of people being vilified is another issue and certainly not what it seems. The reality is the whole ‘benefit scrounger’ rhetoric was created by activists to combat the pro-inclusion agenda.

The means that activists like Liz will accuse anyone who supports people with impairment’s meaningful inclusion into society as labelling them as benefit scroungers, and so reinforcing a politically correct notion that excluding people with impairments is the only right way to think, especially when you may be a target of online abuse if you do not.

The idea that promoting inclusion is a hate crime has become so mainstream that even the government has been forced to take a step back, leading the 2nd event of the week. This is the proposed scrapping of WCA reassessments where the level of impairment makes it ‘pointless’.

This sounds a good idea in some cases although there is a sinister implication to it. It means for young adults with lifelong conditions that they will only be assessed once when they are 18 and basically left to rot unsupported for the rest of their lives, sitting at home doing nothing as nothing is expected from them. And as I warned many times before, this culture can only increase the rise in eugenic thinking.

There is also likely to be a growing list of impairment labels which will be automatically excluded from reassessments and ultimately assessments, fought for by charities like Scope and National Autistic Society, who welcome this exclusion policy. Endless pity campaigns about this or that condition will grow the list of people with impairments excluded from society simply to please middle-class prejudices.

If Labour is elected, when pigs start flying, and they do scrap WCA, then I fear there will be a secret and informal 2 tier system regarding the employment opportunities offered to people with impairments based on this list. This means under both systems, a ‘profoundly incurable’ person like myself will find themselves sitting on a state issued bean bag for most of their life doing nothing, simply because of the prejudices of others.

When the modern disability movement hates real and meaningful inclusion and needs to frame it ‘as the enemy’, what a mess we have gotten ourselves in to. But it is a part of the selfish society we now live in, where no one wants to take responsibility for their actions. Inclusion is hard work so why bother is the attitude of those who are happy to play the vulnerable victim if it gets them the cash they want without working for it like others do.

Inclusion must include a conversation about paid employment as this is at the heart of any post-industrial society whether it is a capitalist or socialist system. Assuming in 2016 that people with impairments must sit on the sidelines throughout their life living on handouts because they are naturally inferior is as backwards as the social roles we assumed for women and others in the past. Those who celebrate exclusion are a danger to people with impairments who require challenging to stop a long term solution offered by eugenics.

The forgotten history of the Disability Discrimination Act

As people celebrate 20 years since the Disability Discrimination Act was enacted, it is worth briefly reminding ourselves that it was not the act anyone campaigned for or wanted. Instead, it was a compromised act proposed by the then Conservative government to divide the disability movement and to stop a more substantial Disability Rights private members bill from being passed. I know because I was there, a fresh 21 year cp campaigner with a lot to learn.

To understand what really happened, it is important to understand there were a large succession of private members’ bills over the years before 1995 focused on Disability Rights. The last two of these were the Roger Berry bill, and the Harry Barnes. Harry had particularly added a cause in his bill to make polling stations accessible, something we still do not have.

The Harry Barnes bill was actually going through parliament at the same time as the Disability Discrimination Act, making life exciting and confusion. All the lobbying by  dysabled people and organisations were focused on the private members bill, not the Disability Discrimination Act. I attended some of the lobbies at parliament, where fresh face Tony Blair was a speaker, although I never got involved in changing myself to buses.

The original act was flimsy and complex to explain with many loopholes. When Labour came to power in 1997, they set up the Disability Rights Taskforce, which saw many amendments to the act including the formation of the Disability Rights Commission, who used a picture of myself on their first leaflet, unfortunately without my permission! Today, the act is now a part of the Equality Act, monitored by the Human Rights and Equality Commission. 

Things have changed a lot in the last 20 years in terms of environmental accessibility and attitudes towards dysabled people, but we are still a long way from the true and meaningfil inclusion of all dysabled people. For myself, I feel disability organisations have wasted the opportunities the last 20 years have provided and that the last 5 years have shown how hollow their belief system is as they have quickly reverted back to a medical model welfare agenda.

Dysability and Disability is more complex than it has ever been in the UK, where the next step in our liberation is not about making laws, but learning to help ourselves and push our own boundaries as well as those of others.

– If you like what I say, have a look at my website at or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74

Dysability is an issue, not a democracy

A few weeks ago I had a twitter exchange with the Socialist Health Association, where they appeared to challenge my expertise as a dysability consultant because I did not always make it clear other dysabled people have different opinions to myself. They then went on with the usual tactic of saying how lucky I was I had a voice and other people are not as strong as me.
This annoyed me because of a number of reasons. Firstly, I have endlessly stated I do not represent anyone else and I have actually formally positioned myself as having a viewpoint that few people will admit to having. I can only say what I believe with an individual with no formal title other than my own. If I had to disclaimer everything I say because it is not what others want to hear from a dysabled person, there is something very wrong with free speech.
I am also tired of people assuming the fact I appear to have been successful in life somehow means I have had it easy! I have learnt the hard way you can not compare one person’s life experience with another’s. To experience the fame I have, I have needed to put the work in and sacrifice things like family to achieve this. I am a natural leader and I take this responsibility very seriously, especially at a time where the bigotry towards dysabled people by ‘disabled activists’ is at an all time high.
The most important point is that dysability is an issue, an academic discipline, and not a democracy. Many dysabled people over the last 50 years have carved out a level of thinking the average dysabled person will not understand. At a policy level, people like myself have to make decisions on all the information and factors. This is like the science of how supermarkets are laid out, built on many years of learning. A supermarket should not have to change its layout because one shopper disagrees with them.
It is easy to be a protestor demanding more money, cheaper goods, better pay etc without ever having to make the important decisions in the wider picture. Most dysabled are consumers, with consumer understanding of issues. I am a professional, because I have worked over 25 years in the field, trying to fit the desires of dysabled people into the bigger picture, making the difficult decisions most people do not see or understand.
It is time the Socialist Health Association and other organisations respected professionals in the dysability field, and did not see us all as amateur protestors, which has been reinforced by under paid ‘user-involvement’. It is easy to demand a better world, it is however much harder for those of us trying to deliver it.

– If you like what I say, have a look at my website at or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74

My Labour MP is undecided to whether I should keep the right to life

A few weeks ago I attended a lobby of MPs, at Portcullis House near the Houses of Parliament, to ask them to oppose Rob Marris’ Private members bill on ‘Assisting Dying’. I was pleased to see that my own Labour MP, Geoffrey Robinson, had turned up to meet me, although that was as far as my pleasure went.
I tried to explain my position on the matter to him and quickly realised that due to my speech impairment, he was not getting a word of what I was saying. I grabbed one of the eager organisers of the lobby, who started explaining the issues we all had with the bill and then invited my MP to have his picture taken with me and a placard saying he opposed the bill. This is when Geoffrey went white as a sheet and started repeating he was undecided. I tried to ask him what were the points he was undecided about, but he simply ignored me.
The conversation ended bizarrely when he talked to the organiser and said ‘I think I met this constituent in Coventry before’, which was absolutely true, but he said it in a manner where I felt he assumed I had ‘learning difficulties’, and I was not really part of the conversation. I raised my eyes up to the ceiling at this point in disappointment and dismay to his actions. I was also glad that this time, I had not voted for him in the last General Election, he was certainly a dinosaur of politics!
But for me, the event raises a wider concern of what is Labour’s unwritten policy on Assisted Dying? And indeed the left in general? The green party, claiming to support independent living for disabled people, also publically support Assisted Suicide, raising questions to what this equality utopia looks like! It is also important to note that Kate Green, Labour’s current Shadow Minister for Disabled People, has recently shown her support for the Assisted Dying bill, but how can you publicly defend the right of all sick and disabled people to enjoy a good life when you also publicly believe some of them are better off dead?
If this is what the supposed good guys of disability think, what about the bad guys? In talking to the organisers and others, I realised that most Tories in both chambers of the House are opposed to the idea of assisted suicide. While the vote on the Assisted Dying bill on 11th September will supposedly be a free vote, it is likely the Government will oppose the bill, including David Cameron and the Cabinet. This is a very significant point, has it questions the whole purpose of welfare, as defined by the Left, and what the people shouting about protecting the lives of sick and disabled people really think about us.
If you are unwilling to fully commit to my absolute right to exist, without fear of state sanctioned killing based on my health status, then very little else matters. Is welfare simply about warehousing society’s unwanted, out of sight and out of mind, until society is ready to accept a more proactive eugenics agenda? Social Darwinism is nothing new although political correctness has made any meaningful debate with those with that mindset difficult as they are not often public about their beliefs.
My MP clearly has the right to make his own decision in his own time, but how can I trust Labour is truthful when it proclaims itself the natural friends of sick and disabled people, when one of its more experienced MPs is unwilling to even pretend to care about my worries over Assisted Suicide?
The impact of who does or does not support Assisted Dying/Suicide can not be seen in isolation, as it goes to the heart of their long term political objectives, including their vision of welfare for sick and disabled people. Does Labour’s implied support for the Rob Marris’ bill offer an insight to what an anti-pc Corbyn government may mean for me?

– If you like what I say, have a look at my website at or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74